ACEN Corporation, through its subsidiary ACEN Australia, has commenced the first stage of its New England Solar project, kickstarting the project’s six-year journey to generating renewable energy into Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM).
The 720 megawatt-ac New England Solar project is being developed in two stages. The first stage includes 400 MWac which began construction in March 2021. It is one of Australia’s largest solar projects participating in the NEM.
“I truly believe that the work ACEN Australia is doing to accelerate Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future is here and now – and it starts with New England Solar. We decided to build New England Solar on a fully merchant basis to ensure it is online in time to help replace closing coal-fired power stations in NSW. We wanted to get things built, to decarbonize Australia,” ACEN Australia CEO Anton Rohner said in a statement.
The New England Solar project was granted formal registration to send power to the NEM by the Australian Energy Market Organization (AEMO) back in December 2022.
The solar project is located near Uralla in NSW Government’s New England Renewable Energy Zone.
“Together with our contracting partner GLC, we’ve navigated a global pandemic coupled with an extended La Niña leading to extremely challenging weather conditions for the construction team who have executed the project safely,” Rohner said.
ACEN president and CEO Eric Francia said that ACEN Australia has around one-gigawatt capacity currently in construction, and eight gigawatts in the development pipeline.
“This represents ACEN’s largest investment outside of the Philippines. With this milestone, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen Australia’s energy security while bolstering its roadmap to a low carbon future as we work towards our goal of 20 GW of renewables by 2030,” Francia said.